NASA's Mars rover, Moon probe get new lease of life
Two prestigious NASA probes on the verge of closure - the Mars Opportunity rover and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) - have been given a new lease of life.
Each has received a reprieve of two more years of operation, media reports said.
Till date, the Opportunity has travelled over 40 km across the surface of the Red Planet, exploring areas including the most ancient habitable environment known on the planet.
The rover is currently heading for a region called Marathon Valley where scientists think clay minerals formed in a watery environment.
The LRO mapped possible locations for astronauts to return to the Moon.
More recently it has focused on studying change on the lunar surface from fresh meteorite impacts.
NASA allocates nearly $1.3 billion annually to planetary sciences.
(Posted on 01-09-2014)